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Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Sources: Rangers could add $100 million to payroll next season, setting the GM meetings abuzz

The word is out. The Rangers mean business this winter. It’s one thing for them to say it; it’s something else for their peers and competitors to believe it.

You couldn’t walk 15 feet at the GM meetings Tuesday without bumping into another baseball official who all but said the Rangers are going to make it rain in free agency.

Chris Young wasn’t exactly tamping that talk down Tuesday afternoon either.

“I think it’s all relative,” Young said when asked just how big a spender the Rangers will be. “But, we said towards the end of the season that we are committed to having a payroll consistent with our market size. We intend to push the payroll up.”

Next question: How much?

By as much as $100 million — if not more — a pair of industry sources indicated. Young wasn’t going there. At least not exactly. But, he did leave some hints.

“We expect the payroll for 2022 will increase to a point where it has been in the past.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 09, 2021 at 11:15 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rangers

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   1. Rally Posted: November 10, 2021 at 07:52 AM (#6052213)
Chris Young will be a big spender this offseason, that much is guaranteed. How big? 6 foot 10
   2. BDC Posted: November 10, 2021 at 08:10 AM (#6052214)
There are several good players among the FAs, for sure, but they all seem to be young shortstops or old pitchers. If the Rangers want to get back to .500 quickly, they should spend $100M on a bunch of old pitchers. If they want to stay over .500 for a stretch, they have to start finding talent consistently via the draft, international FAs, etc. – or $100M worth of FAs will get them surprisingly nowhere.
   3. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: November 10, 2021 at 08:16 AM (#6052215)
So what they are saying is the 2023 winter meetings will be dominated by the Rangers trying to unload bad contracts? Sounds like fun.
   4. Jaack Posted: November 10, 2021 at 09:09 AM (#6052216)
Seems like a strange time for an awful team with absolutely no identity to make a splash, but if you think this the the best FA class for a while, it's not the stupidest thing a team could do.

Something like Semien/Stroman/Taylor/Gray? Gives you a star to build around, the start of a decent rotation, and Taylor's versatility makes you more flexible with regard to whatever prospects actually end up developing into useful players.
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2021 at 09:12 AM (#6052217)
Not knowing anything about the rangers, and just looking at bb-ref, they have a crap ton of holes to fill, sadly one of the strengths in this free agent market, which is shortstop, is not something they need to fill. Still for 100 mil, they could probably add 4 position players and a starting pitcher that would make them contenders in a very weak division, especially if one of those additions is Correa (taken from the leader in their division)

But in reality, it would be nice to know who they have coming up this year, who under performed last year etc.. Will have to look into that, because a team like the Rangers that is making a claim of honoring their market size is something substantial if they do. (and in return it is a good time to goose attendance and fan interest after two years of lack of fan selling because of covid... if you can spark the market at a low time, it might be able to produce stronger interest)
   6. The Duke Posted: November 10, 2021 at 09:33 AM (#6052221)
Why trade Joey Gallo if this is true? He wanted to stay a Ranger. They could have locked him up long term.

Maybe they try to trade back for him. The air has gone out of his balloon a bit. Another guy who doesn’t like the bright lights of Broadway.
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 10, 2021 at 09:51 AM (#6052223)
I hope this reported $100M payroll splurge isn’t coming out of the stadium air conditioning budget. #Priorities.
   8. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 10, 2021 at 10:46 AM (#6052227)
The expectation in Denver has long been that Trevor Story, proud graduate of Irving High School, was going to sign with the Rangers.
   9. bfan Posted: November 10, 2021 at 11:16 AM (#6052232)
The expectation in Denver has long been that Trevor Story, proud graduate of Irving High School, was going to sign with the Rangers.

Add Clayton Kershaw, from Highland Park, to the coming home list.
   10. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 10, 2021 at 11:22 AM (#6052233)
I hope this reported $100M payroll splurge isn’t coming out of the stadium air conditioning budget. #Priorities.

Do we have any confirmation that the City isn't paying this expense on behalf of the team because, you know, priorities?
   11. BDC Posted: November 10, 2021 at 11:55 AM (#6052244)
who they have coming up this year, who under performed last year etc.

Not that I follow Ranger minor leaguers exhaustively, but a few are on my radar. Josh Jung is frequently discussed. Eighth pick overall in 2019 out of college, will be 24 next year, hit very well in AA in 2021 and even better in AAA; he has to figure as the starting 3B in 2022. (Which is another problem with all the FA shortstops, because if you move a FA shortstop to 3B, you block Jung.)

And then the other guy who might take a step forward in 2022 is a second baseman! Andy Ibañez. And another prospect a little further off, Josh Smith (part of the return for Gallo) is also a shortstop.

Maybe they can sign three shortstops and trade their young guys for outfielders. That does not sound like a best practice to me.

Another really strong position-player prospect, catcher Sam Huff, had a big setback in 2021 due to injury and it's hard to see him making a difference in 2022.

They don't have a heck of a lot of great pitching prospects in the minors. Cole Winn has been very good but is very young (21). Jack Leiter looks like a star but hasn't pitched yet in pro ball.
   12. BDC Posted: November 10, 2021 at 12:01 PM (#6052247)
And as to under-performers: hideously enough, nobody really. Nathaniel Lowe and Adolis Garcia had decent years, but they might have been career years for all they've ever shown before. They have a fast center fielder named Leody Taveras, still quite young (23) who I guess underperformed last year; he batted .161 and his lifetime batting average is .188. All the other position players were on their last legs or had never found their legs to start with.

They have a few promising pitchers at the ML level that one could expect to improve: Dane Dunning, AJ Alexy, Taylor Hearn. Joe Barlow did a heck of a job closing after they traded Ian Kennedy, but that too might have been the best few months of Barlow's career, who knows.
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2021 at 12:21 PM (#6052257)
Again I don't follow and I do think it's possible that Garcia had a career year, he's too old to build a team around, but he might have the tools to be a guy who you can live with at the position for the next five years simply because he isn't costing you crap.

To simplify things, I think contending teams who want to continue the cycle should more or less divide their roster into three thirds, you have the young and underpaid who you hope to get average or better performances out of and hope to have a guy develop into a superstar or at least an all star or two and capitalize on price control for a couple of years at that level, then you have your good to great locked in starters who you are paying market value for and have a longer term investment in as a guarantee that they don't leave or you aren't forced to trade them because of a down year, then you have your guns for hire, these are often mid tier relievers, or specific bats or fill out a positional need, (or are aging stars you locked up towards the end of their contracts) that will come off the payroll this or next year so you have flexibility with them.

The point is that when a team says I'm going to spend 100 mil this off season, they really shouldn't make it about 5 big contracts, they need to break it up a bit to add flexibility for the future, while improving the team currently, and understanding that you cannot compete with free agent contracts only over the long haul. There is literally no team in baseball who has made the playoffs this year that made it because of free agent contract, and outside of maybe some of the Steinbrenner teams (and that is a stretch) of the 70's, it's doubtful any team has done it with big signings. You have to provide cheap quality labor on the team to compete.
   14. BDC Posted: November 10, 2021 at 12:33 PM (#6052267)
Again I don't follow

That's OK, I don't follow any of the other 29 teams :-D
   15. Darren Posted: November 10, 2021 at 01:49 PM (#6052295)
That would be pretty exciting. I'd target guys who aren't top of the market but are also young, so this $100 million can be a foundation for a future contender. By Fangraphs estimates, you could get something like Story, Schwarber, Suzuki, E-Rod, Rodon, and Gray, adding something like 18 WAR for 2022. All of those guys are 29 except Suzuki (27) and Gray (30).
   16. bfan Posted: November 10, 2021 at 03:22 PM (#6052327)
So it looks like a decent number of teams out shopping this winter, which should make for some robust contracts.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: November 10, 2021 at 05:43 PM (#6052385)
Tim Healey
Scott Boras said there has been “extraordinary” interest in free agent Michael Conforto. He blamed COVID-19 for Conforto’s bad start to the season and said teams know the kind of player he is.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: November 10, 2021 at 11:01 PM (#6052439)
Carlos Correa in "Centaur II: Hoof Dreams"

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